B-148172, MAR. 1, 1962

B-148172: Mar 1, 1962

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JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 18. WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED A COPY OF A LETTER DATED JANUARY 23. WE EXPLAINED THAT YOUR INDEBTEDNESS HAD NOT BEEN REPORTED TO OUR OFFICE AS UNCOLLECTIBLE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THEREFORE THE COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS WERE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THAT DEPARTMENT. 33 COMP. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT VERONA. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STATION WAS SHOWN TO BE MARCH 9. BY SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS TO YOUR ORDERS THE REPORTING DATE OF PROCESSING AND MOVEMENT TO THE UNITED STATES WAS CHANGED TO FEBRUARY 3. ON FEBRUARY 13 AND WERE DISCHARGED AT FORT SHERIDAN. YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO NEBRASKA SECTOR COMMAND. THERE WAS NO ORDERED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM YOUR LAST DUTY STATION AT VERONA.

B-148172, MAR. 1, 1962

TO MASTER SERGEANT DAVID C. ROE, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 18, 1962, REQUESTING FURTHER REVIEW OF EXCEPTIONS TAKEN TO PAYMENTS MADE TO YOU FOR DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AND TRAVEL OF DEPENDENT DAUGHTER AND THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO COLLECT $134.82 OVERPAYMENT BY MAKING DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY. WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED A COPY OF A LETTER DATED JANUARY 23, 1962, TO YOU, FROM THE HONORABLE STUART SYMINGTON, UNITED STATES SENATE, CONCERNING THIS MATTER.

IN OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1961, TO SENATOR SYMINGTON, AND OUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1962, TO YOU, WE EXPLAINED THAT YOUR INDEBTEDNESS HAD NOT BEEN REPORTED TO OUR OFFICE AS UNCOLLECTIBLE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THEREFORE THE COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS WERE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THAT DEPARTMENT. 33 COMP. GEN. 667.

REGARDING THE OVERPAYMENT OF DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IN YOUR CASE, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 7 DATED JANUARY 11, 1960, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, SOUTHERN EUROPEAN TASK FORCE, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT VERONA, ITALY, AND REASSIGNED TO RETURNEE- REASSIGNMENT STATION, FORT HAMILTON, NEW YORK, FOR FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO TRANSFER STATION, FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, FOR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STATION WAS SHOWN TO BE MARCH 9, 1960, BUT BY SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS TO YOUR ORDERS THE REPORTING DATE OF PROCESSING AND MOVEMENT TO THE UNITED STATES WAS CHANGED TO FEBRUARY 3, 1960. YOU ARRIVED AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON FEBRUARY 13 AND WERE DISCHARGED AT FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, ON FEBRUARY 16, 1960. YOUR ORDERS MADE NO PROVISION FOR REENLISTMENT. YOU REENLISTED ON FEBRUARY 17, 1960, AND BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 35 ISSUED AT FORT SHERIDAN THAT SAME DAY, YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO NEBRASKA SECTOR COMMAND, XVI U.S. ARMY CORPS, OMAHA, NEBRASKA, IN ORDER TO REPORT THERE NOT LATER THAN FEBRUARY 25, 1960. THERE WAS NO ORDERED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM YOUR LAST DUTY STATION AT VERONA, ITALY, IN THE PRIOR PERIOD OF SERVICE TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AT OMAHA, NEBRASKA. IN YOUR CURRENT LETTER YOU APPEAR TO BELIEVE THAT PAYMENTS OF DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE TO INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE WERE BEING MADE UNTIL CHANGE 87 TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WAS ISSUED.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE REGULATIONS APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY CONCERNED, TO A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHOSE DEPENDENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO MOVE AND ACTUALLY DO MOVE IN CONNECTION WITH HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BUT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT A MEMBER IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE WHEN ORDERED FROM HOME TO FIRST DUTY STATION OR FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME. PARAGRAPH 9003-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (CHANGE 87, DECEMBER 1, 1959), IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDES THAT DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM LAST DUTY STATION IN ONE PERIOD OF SERVICE TO THE FIRST DUTY STATION IN ANOTHER PERIOD OF SERVICE WHEN THERE WAS NO ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION BETWEEN THOSE STATIONS. WHILE YOU APPEAR TO BELIEVE THAT CHANGE 87, PARAGRAPH 9003 5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DATED DECEMBER 1, 1959, FIRST PROVIDED FOR THIS RESTRICTION, IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT SUCH RESTRICTION HAS BEEN IN EFFECT SINCE FEBRUARY 1, 1957 (CHANGE 55, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS).

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT PAYMENT OF DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE INVOLVING MEMBERS ORDERED FROM OLD PERMANENT STATION TO PROCESSING OR SEPARATION STATIONS FOR DISCHARGE, WHO SUBSEQUENTLY REENLIST WITHOUT A BREAK IN SERVICE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS IT APPEARS THAT THE MEMBER'S ORIGINAL PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS CONTEMPLATED AN IMMEDIATE RE-ENTRY INTO THE SERVICE. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 71; 38 COMP. GEN. 405; B 135627, MAY 12, 1959.

ARMY REGULATIONS 37-106, CHAPTER 12, DEALING WITH DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, PROVIDE IN PARAGRAPH 12-4C (2) AS FOLLOWS:

"A MEMBER ORDERED FROM HIS OLD PERMANENT STATION TO A TRANSFER ACTIVITY FOR DISCHARGE OR SEPARATION WHO ENLISTS OR REENLISTS AT A TRANSFER ACTIVITY WITHOUT A BREAK IN ACTIVE SERVICE AND IS ASSIGNED A NEW PERMANENT STATION IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE.'

SINCE YOU WERE RETURNED FROM OVERSEAS TO THE TRANSFER STATION AT FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, THE ORDERS MAKING NO PROVISION FOR YOUR REENLISTMENT AND FURTHER ASSIGNMENT, YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE $96.90 DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE PAID ON VOUCHER 503905 FEBRUARY 1960 ACCOUNTS OF MAJOR A. E. BARNEY, AND THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION STATED IN THAT RESPECT WAS PROPER.

CONCERNING THE EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT LETTER ORDER 6-74, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, SOUTHERN EUROPEAN TASK FORCE, DATED JUNE 10, 1959, AUTHORIZED THE RETURN OF YOUR DAUGHTER SHARON K. ROE, FROM VERONA, ITALY, TO THE AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES. THESE ORDERS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BEYOND THE AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION PRIOR TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT YOUR DAUGHTER DEPARTED VERONA ON JULY 13, 1959, AND ARRIVED AT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, ON JULY 20, 1959. THE TRAVEL IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENROLLING IN A SCHOOL OF NURSING AT KANSAS CITY. REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE FOR HER TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, 1,330 MILES AT SIX CENTS PER MILE IN THE AMOUNT OF $79.80. SUCH OVERPAYMENT OF $79.80 WAS REDUCED TO $37.92, FOR THE REASON THAT, IN VIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE FOR SHARON'S TRAVEL, YOU WERE FOUND TO BE ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL $0.03 PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR YOUNGER DAUGHTER INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. THE TOTAL INDEBTEDNESS WAS THEREFORE $96.90 PLUS $37.92, OR A TOTAL OF $134.82.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), PROVIDES FOR THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OF THE MEMBER, INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME. IT FURTHER PROVIDES FOR SUCH TRAVEL IN THE ABSENCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ONLY UNDER UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING WHEN THE MEMBER IS SERVING OVERSEAS. THOSE PROVISIONS ARE NOT SELF-EXECUTING, HOWEVER, BUT REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF REGULATIONS BY THE SECRETARIES OF THE SERVICES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH 7000- 9 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RESTRICTS TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PRIOR TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ISSUED TO THE MEMBER, WITH AN EXCEPTION NOT HERE MATERIAL. PROVISIONS ARE MADE IN THE REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, FOR DEPENDENTS' TRANSPORTATION IN THE ABSENCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WHEN REQUIRED UNDER UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES. PARAGRAPH 7009 3 OF THOSE REGULATIONS CITED IN THE ORDERS OF JUNE 10, 1959 (CHANGES 77 AND 82 IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INVOLVED), LIMITS THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES IN ADVANCE OF THE MEMBER'S CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS TO TRANSPORTATION TO THE PORT OF DEBARKATION BY SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THAT TRANSPORTATION BEYOND THAT POINT WILL NOT BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO THE RETURN OF THE MEMBER TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. THAT PARAGRAPH FURTHER PROVIDES THAT UPON COMPLETION OF THE CURRENT OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY AND TRANSFER OF A MEMBER TO A STATION IN THE UNITED STATES, TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS THEN AUTHORIZED AT NOT TO EXCEED THE ENTITLEMENT FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE NEW STATION.

UNDER PARAGRAPH 7011 OF THE REGULATIONS A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION, OR PLACE TO WHICH HIS DEPENDENTS WERE LAST TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, TO HIS HOME OF RECORD OR THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY. UNDER THE LAW AND CONTROLLING REGULATIONS AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDERS PERMITTING YOUR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IN ADVANCE OF YOUR ORDERED RETURN THERETO, IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THERE WAS NO RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DAUGHTER BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, SINCE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PRIOR TO YOUR TRANSFER TO THE UNITED STATES. WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED ERRONEOUS ADVICE AND WERE LED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENTS IN QUESTION, THAT CIRCUMSTANCE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR YOU TO RETAIN THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS TO WHICH EXCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN STATED.

IT IS NOTED THAT YOU RECOMMEND THAT CERTIFYING OFFICERS BECOME FINANCIALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTS THROUGH A SYSTEM OF BONDING. THIS RESPECT, SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 875, 31 U.S.C. 82C, PROVIDES THAT CERTAIN CERTIFYING OFFICERS SHALL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS RECITED IN VOUCHERS WHICH THEY CERTIFY, AND THAT THEY SHALL BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH BOND. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT THE CERTIFYING OFFICER OR THE DISBURSING OFFICER MAY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR AN ERRONEOUS PAYMENT DOES NOT OPERATE TO RELIEVE THE RECIPIENT OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF REFUNDING SUCH AMOUNT TO WHICH HE IS NOT ENTITLED.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE EXCEPTIONS STATED IN YOUR CASE WERE PROPER AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REFUND TO YOU OF THE AMOUNTS COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. WE ARE FORWARDINGA COPY OF THIS LETTER TO THE HONORABLE STUART SYMINGTON, UNITED STATES SENATE.